A nostalgic look at the last of the working sailboats--the square-rigged training vessels, the fishing schooners of Nova Scotia and Gloucester, the Chesapeake Bay oyster dredges and the Bahama fishing sloops. Documenting his thesis that the sailing vessel was the only technological contrivance that played an important part in history without disturbing the natural environment, Bradley describes his trips on the various sailing craft. Sometimes lyrical, but often too long and overwritten, the text points up Bradley's conviction: that the skill and vigilance needed to sail a vessel produced a life of dignity and pride in contrast to the boredom of a ""pushbutton"" existence aboard a modern tanker or trawler. The fourth (Chesapeake Bay) section of the book is composed of preliminary drafts and some of the author's articles in the Washington Post since Bradley died before the book's completion. A devoted appreciation for devotees of sailing and sea; others may find it tedious.